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Old September 8th, 2009, 06:46 AM   #1
LtBk
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MISC | Public transport to shopping mall

We all know that good public transportation is used by all walks of life, but is it reliable after shopping lots of things?

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Old September 8th, 2009, 12:55 PM   #2
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Usually I buy food (for 4 people) once a week using a car, it would be impossible to carry all that by hand alone.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 02:30 PM   #3
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I actually carry food for myself what has palce in my bag. Usually something to eat and something to drink (when i go to school). When i spend money i get only 1 hand full.

I never travel when i have to buy more stuff, then by car of course. I live in the agglomeration so i dont have to go into the city for big shopping. Would be impossible to carry all the stuff home on my back like a camel
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Old September 8th, 2009, 06:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Usually I buy food (for 4 people) once a week using a car, it would be impossible to carry all that by hand alone.
What about personal shopping?
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Old September 8th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #5
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This is more of an urban planning / design issue than a public transport issue.

Part of the problem is that a lot of residential neighborhoods are zoned for single-use (i.e., residential only), and neighborhood retail is completely left out of the picture. Instead, goods and services end up being clustered in large suburban shopping centers or big box complexes where access is not practical for non-auto modes. Plus, when there's no nearby goods and services and you have to drive 15 to 20 minutes just to get what you need, drivers may feel the need to "group" or "link" their trips together, which makes transit, walking, and biking even less practical.

The ultimate solution is not so much what can we do with transit... It's more about what can we do about our neighborhoods. We need to design mixed-use neighborhoods that are easily accessible by a short walk or bike ride and that are well integrated with the transit network. You can have a small neighborhood shopping district located immediately outside of your transit station. On the commute home from work, you can step out of the station and do a bit of shopping for dinner or get a few errands done before heading home. The high level of accessibility and convenience of this structure also encourages more (but smaller) trips, as opposed to one giant linked trip that is not conducive to alternative modes of travel.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 09:27 PM   #6
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My mother always uses public transport when she goes to the market. So 3-4 bags full of vegetables,fruits and meats.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 10:22 PM   #7
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This is why you find grocery carts scattered around town along the sidewalk...

They should invent some kind of personal folding cart that would hold even a family's weekly grocery purchase and could be stowed away. If it was narrow and rolled in front of a person that wouldn't be too much of a nuisance on a bus.

As a guy I don't feel so bad carrying it all at once in paper bags under my arms, and I can carry a pretty large amount of groceries too.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 10:53 PM   #8
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In most countries they just use shopping carts to carry things. You can easily carry 20 or 25 Kg without effort (in flat surfaces, it basically depends on how well greased are the wheels).



They're the best deal if you shop at walking distance. And with public transportation gradually being disabled-friendly, yes they're easy to carry. It's only in completely car-sold places that they have forgotten about carts and go on carrying four or five heavy bags when you could move the same stuff with a cart and a finger.

The supermarkets of some european cities, say most of Spain as I've seen, have dedicated parking space with chainlocks for carts, and yes, people use them.

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They should invent some kind of personal folding cart that would hold even a family's weekly grocery purchase and could be stowed away. If it was narrow and rolled in front of a person that wouldn't be too much of a nuisance on a bus.
See above. It's invented and widely used in some places.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 11:27 PM   #9
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Thats called granny-tank here,because they use it as a tank on the bus!
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Old September 9th, 2009, 05:32 AM   #10
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I live walking distance to the grocery store, so I buy my food fresh nearly daily, usually no more than 2 bags - easy to carry.

... in terms of non-food shopping (like shoes, clothing, home accessories, etc), I take transit most of the time since the best shopping is in downtown. If it is too much to carry then I know that I have overdone it!!!!
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Old September 9th, 2009, 05:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Thats called granny-tank here,because they use it as a tank on the bus!
Really hag-tank (banyatank).
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Old September 10th, 2009, 08:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
This is why you find grocery carts scattered around town along the sidewalk...

They should invent some kind of personal folding cart that would hold even a family's weekly grocery purchase and could be stowed away. If it was narrow and rolled in front of a person that wouldn't be too much of a nuisance on a bus.

As a guy I don't feel so bad carrying it all at once in paper bags under my arms, and I can carry a pretty large amount of groceries too.
Folding Grocery carts have been around for years. The problem is, some grocers are simply to cheap to go and buy one.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 09:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geego View Post
In most countries they just use shopping carts to carry things. You can easily carry 20 or 25 Kg without effort



They're the best deal if you shop at walking distance.
My parents back home in Albania, have been doing exactly that for years.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 01:24 AM   #14
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I guess this is really only an issue in country's whose supermarkets don't have proper home delivery services. I know friends in London always get their main supermarket shopping delivered. We don't have that here in Germany of course, not proper home delivery like in the UK, so I do have to use public transport when the load is too large for my bike.

It's better on trains and trams than buses which is a real hassle.

Anything a bit too awkward I simply hop in a taxi. Door to door. Public transport is really not good enough if you have to carry too many things.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 01:53 AM   #15
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Justme, in most urban areas in Germany you have the stores for everyday shopping within walking distance. I don't really see the problem here. Home delivery is for lazy fat-asses anyway. (OK, it would be practical for old people, but if they can't go shopping, their elderly care nurse does it for them).

Oh, and those granny tanks are called "Hackenporsche" (heel-porsche) in my region.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 02:27 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by DiggerD21 View Post
Justme, in most urban areas in Germany you have the stores for everyday shopping within walking distance.
Correction: You have small supermarkets usually within walking distances. In many other country's, these are not considered as full supermarkets but simply "express stores" as the product range is quite limited.

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I don't really see the problem here. Home delivery is for lazy fat-asses anyway. (OK, it would be practical for old people, but if they can't go shopping, their elderly care nurse does it for them).
Not terribly well thought through here. There are many advantages to home delivery that have nothing to do with being lazy.
* You can do all of your shopping in one go. Please tell me how you would do a full weeks shopping for a family of four on public transport? Let's see, all those potatoes, 3 crates of drinks (water, beer, milk, orange juice etc), all the vegetables, meats etc? I have not seen you, but there is no way in the world I think you could carry all that back without a car.
* Alternatively, you have to shop several times a week, which is inefficient for a start, and many people simply don't have the time, especially as German supermarkets can't open on Sunday, the perfect day to shop for most people.
* Shopping is much quicker on the internet. All your standard weekly purchases are already selected, you just need to adjust quantities or add some extra things. Then, select a small window in which the delivery will be made and everything turns up, crates of beer and all.

I can only imagine that you have never experienced this. Maybe you should try it before laughing at it. Supermarket shopping isn't exactly the most exciting shopping around. It's a chore like cleaning the toilet. Most people don't do it for fun. So why laugh at a solution which takes all the work out and makes it much more convenient? It's like saying transport is for lazy people, real people walk everywhere

Of course, for it to work, it has to be set up properly, which is why it has never taken off in Germany. They just can't get home delivery working in this country. Mainly because they don't offer proper scheduled times. When I tried this in the UK, I was given a two hour window any night of the week (7 days) and they were on time with everything I needed. When I tried it in Germany I was given a full day as a window, so technically, I couldn't go out until it was delivered, making it pretty useless.


It can get even worse for larger deliveries. I bought a sofa a while back from Segmüller, a major shop in downtown Frankfurt. It was a one off designer sofa so I was buying the display model. When I asked when it could be delivered, they said three weeks without even checking. I argued with them to actually check first, but they couldn't be bothered. Next question then was what day, and they said I would get a call in the morning of the day! So, I would have to be prepared to leave work at short notice. When I got the call about four weeks later, they said they would come "that day" but couldn't give a time, so I had to leave work in the morning and waited all day before they turned up.

This is not how home delivery is supposed to work. But it is certainly better than Obi, a major home rennovation store. There when I asked for home delivery, after 45 minutes of explaining what that actually means I was offered the use of their trolley if I left them my passport ;O) They have improved since then and now have a similar delivery service to segmüller above.

Some things Germany does very well. Beer, Autobahns and Deutsche Bahn come to mind. But shopping and services is not one of them ;O)
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Last edited by Justme; September 11th, 2009 at 02:46 AM.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 04:12 AM   #17
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In the end it is all about what you re (or were) used to. For me the small stores "around the corner" like ALDI, LIDL, PENNY etc. are completely sufficient for every day goods. I go in, catch the goods I want to buy, go to the cash-desk and pay. Half an hour and I'm done with shopping. Now if I go to a super- or hypermarket, I end up searching endlessly for the products, probably loose more time because of this huge offer of various products and in the end could end up paying more than I want.

Once I went to WAL-MART after university, because it was on the way to my home and I knew that the ALDI-stores were already closed. I just wanted to buy bread and cream-cheese. It took me half an hour to find a comparatively cheap simple cream-cheese among all those overpriced cream-cheeses (roughly 200 different brands and flavours)! A total waste of time. At a store with a limited offer I get the same result within 5 minutes (and no need to wait up to 2 hours for the home delivery like in your example).
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Old September 11th, 2009, 04:42 AM   #18
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I spent two years living in Boston without a car. I remember trying to get from Park Street to the Back Bay with a lamp and a mirror. I wished I had called a taxi. I waited until my father visited with a car to get a microwave oven.

Going to the airport with a large suitcase on public transport wasn't easy either. I generally think that transit lines to airports work better for airport workers than they do for airline passengers.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 05:06 AM   #19
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Eh, it depends on the size of the city district you're living in.

Here in Heidelberg, Germany, out of 14 districts, all three districts with less than 5,000 citizens have no supermarkets (two have a bakery, the third not even that), and the three districts with under 10,000 citizens only have a single supermarket of a random chain - in one of them an express store with the product range of a gas station, in the second an Aldi 1.5 km outside inhabited area, in the third a two-level Kaufland on the edge of the district with a huge parking deck.

From my position, there's no supermarkets of any size within walking distance. Actually used to have one, but that burned down in the mid-80s and was never replaced. There is a Rewe, Penny, Edeka and Plus each at about 1.5 km distance in three different directions, and none of those is reachable by public transport without walking more than 500 meters from the closest stop.

I'm talking Lidl, Aldi, Penny etc there. We have a number of larger stores (usually Rewe brand, also two Kaufland) located at district borders to serve a limited amount of residents within walking distance, but mostly serving people coming in by car, and for stuff beyond that there's a Famila Center mall "out in the green" with a 1000-car parking lot.

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Of course, for it to work, it has to be set up properly, which is why it has never taken off in Germany. They just can't get home delivery working in this country.
Actually, it's not so much the timing. It's the labour cost, not just for delivery but also for the background logistics. The end result is that these services can never remotely compete price-wise with discounter chains, usually offering things at a 50-100% surcharge. Ever seen one of Edeka's distribution centers? There's only one thing that drives down prices, and that's sheer mass. And that's something German discounters (in particular!) excel at.
No one pays a 50-100% surcharge on simple groceries, that's why any such service is doomed from the start in Germany.

There are a number of such delivery services that work with an extremely limited product range and extremely short timing (30-60 minutes), offering e.g. drinks, snacks or other last-minute goods. For prices that are even with surcharges still in the same region as at a gas station. Usually combined with some sort of other delivery service (e.g. takeout, or medium-quantity drink/beer delivery) so they only need some extra fridge space.
That's the kind of service that does pretty good business, at least around here with the richer customers.

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Some things Germany does very well. Beer, Autobahns and Deutsche Bahn come to mind.
Except most beer in Germany tastes like something i used to wash the dishes with previously, the Autobahns are a single constant traffic jam and Deutsche Bahn has been going down the crapper since it was de-nationalised in 1994.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 05:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiggerD21 View Post
In the end it is all about what you re (or were) used to.
Possibly true. Once you get used to the better service, it is hard to go back ;O)


Quote:
Originally Posted by DiggerD21 View Post
For me the small stores "around the corner" like ALDI, LIDL, PENNY etc. are completely sufficient for every day goods.
Hang on. Those are all budget stores and don't even really count. I've never ventured into a Penny, but accidentily did to Lidl a couple of times and they don't even have normal products there, just Lidl brand stuff.

Quote:
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I go in, catch the goods I want to buy, go to the cash-desk and pay. Half an hour and I'm done with shopping. Now if I go to a super- or hypermarket, I end up searching endlessly for the products, probably loose more time because of this huge offer of various products and in the end could end up paying more than I want.

Once I went to WAL-MART after university, because it was on the way to my home and I knew that the ALDI-stores were already closed. I just wanted to buy bread and cream-cheese. It took me half an hour to find a comparatively cheap simple cream-cheese among all those overpriced cream-cheeses (roughly 200 different brands and flavours)! A total waste of time. At a store with a limited offer I get the same result within 5 minutes (and no need to wait up to 2 hours for the home delivery like in your example).
Well, if I want a single item I also would not order that online and wait for a delivery ;O) Who on earth would do that? Also, once you know where something is in a larger supermarket, you know exactly where to go to find it. It's not a terribly good arguement there.

That said, for small single shopping trips I'd rather pop into a nice small decent store with personal service.

But this thread was about shopping and public transport, so I would imagine we are talking about more than a tub of cream cheese. And this is where my point on home delivery comes in. Public transport is not really suitable for large shopping trips, and in many countries with a developed service culture they have adapted to this with alternatives.

You have answered the question right at the beginning when you suggest you make multiple journeys to the supermarket in order to do your shopping. I would imagine this is because it would be too heavy to do all the shopping in one go which wouldn't be a problem with a car, but could be with public transport or walking.
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